360° Coverage : What Are The Future Of Nation States? -- Better Ask Facebook

2 Updates

What Are The Future Of Nation States? -- Better Ask Facebook

May 9 2014, 2:06pm CDT | by

What happens when Facebook decides it wants to issue passports? This is no idle question. Right now, Facebook has well over a billion members, making it the third largest country in the world. So...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

19 weeks ago

What Are The Future Of Nation States? -- Better Ask Facebook

May 9 2014, 2:06pm CDT | by

What happens when Facebook decides it wants to issue passports?

This is no idle question. Right now, Facebook has well over a billion members, making it the third largest country in the world. So the larger issue at hand is does one’s online social identity trump one’s real world patriotic identity?

Perhaps not yet—but sooner or later it will.

If you plumb the literature, most researchers feel nation states exist for four major reasons: guns, money, land, and tribe. Let’s take a quick look at each.

Guns—this one’s obvious: Nation states control the armies, the weapons, etc. But not like they used to. We can now 3D print everything from handguns to automatic weapons to rocket launchers, with the blueprints and how-to tutorials available online, for anyone, for free. Of course, the standard counter here is what about WMDs—after all you can’t 3D print a nuke—but with the radical advances being made in synthetic biology, the ability for the average person to create a biological WMD are growing exponentially. So no, when it comes to who controls the weapons, well, nation states have lost their competitive edge.

Money—Nation states control currency, but maybe not for long. For one, bitcoin is trying to change all of that. Even if they don’t succeed, you got to believe that sooner or later someone will. Remember, the idea of a centralized, standardized currency is only a few centuries old and is much more a living experiment than a trustworthy tradition. In other words, when it comes to centralized currencies, we have no idea what they’re normal lifespan is… but considering that for almost 10,000 years local currencies were the rule, the idea that we may eventually re-fracture our financial system doesn’t seem so peculiar.

Land—This is the big one. But, again, not for long. In a recent blog, I probed the question of what happens when virtual reality becomes more fun and more meaningful than actual reality. This weird singularity is coming at us far faster than most expect and remember, it was Facebook who purchased Occulus Rift and is now leading this charge. In other words, however strong our online social identity feels today, they’re only going to continue to grow stronger. As this next century unfolds, as life moves more and more into the virtual, the value of “the land” and, more importantly, the way “the land” shapes our identity and allegiances will continue to shift.

Tribe—One only has to survey ethnic conflicts in Eastern Europe and the Middle East to realize that we’re still as tribal as we’ve ever been. And we have a great many nation states organized along exactly these kind of ethnic lines. And even more organized along religious lines. But the question remains, how long will this bounded sense of identity hold. Right now, Google and Facebook are in an arms race, with plans to spend billions to launch drones, balloons and satellites capable of providing free or ultra-low cost internet access to every human on Earth. This means, over the next few years, more and more people will be coming online and doing what people everywhere do online—finding groups of like-minded folk and hanging out with them. But these like minded folk will come from all over, breaching borders and building bridges and again, how long until these virtual tribes trump actual tribes?

So if the four pillars that have historically propped up nation states are starting to crumble, how much longer will the institution itself survive?

*Check out Steven’s latest book, The Rise of Superman.

 
Update
2

3 weeks ago

Khazanah throws MAS RM6b lifeline

Aug 29 2014 5:01pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 30, 2014 1:15 AMKHAZANAH Nasional will inject RM6 billion (SS$2.4 billion) over three years to resuscitate loss-making Malaysia Airlines (MAS) under a recovery plan that includes even an Act of Parliament. Other key moves are migrating its operations, assets and liabilities to a ne ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 
Update
1

3 weeks ago

MAS posts loss of RM307m for Q2

Aug 28 2014 5:00pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 29, 2014 1:13 AMMALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) registered a loss of RM307 million (S$122 million) for the second quarter to end-June, but warned of worse to come in the second half when the "full financial impact of the double tragedi ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

One dead after drinking contaminated water in Bangladesh
Dhaka, Sep 21 (IANS) A female worker died and scores of others fell sick after drinking water at their factory in Bangladesh Saturday.
 
 
UN sets up mission to combat Ebola
United Nations, Sep 20 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced to have established a UN mission to combat Ebola with the advance teams to be deployed to West Africa by Monday.
 
 
Chinese may need 98,000 new pilots in 20 years
Beijing, Sep 20 (IANS) China will need 98,000 more pilots and 101,000 maintenance technicians in the next 20 years, according to latest estimates of Boeing.
 
 
Medvedev slams EU sanctions against Russian banks
Moscow, Sep 20 (IANS) Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev Saturday criticised the European Union (EU) over its ban on Russian banks, warning that the 28-member bloc will pay the price.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Kuwait beefs up security against IS threat
Dubai, Sep 21 (IANS) Kuwait has undertaken new security measures to combat the militants of Islamic State (IS) Sunni extremist group in the Gulf nation, media reported. Kuwaiti Deputy PM and Interior Minister Shaikh...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
One dead after drinking contaminated water in Bangladesh
Dhaka, Sep 21 (IANS) A female worker died and scores of others fell sick after drinking water at their factory in Bangladesh Saturday. "We have come to know that a female worker died and some 100 workers were treated...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Egypt to host Gaza ceasefire talks
Cairo, Sep 21 (IANS) Egypt will host Gaza ceasefire talks between Israel and the Palestinians Wednesday in a bid to consolidate the truce reached last month. Indirect talks between the Gaza-ruling Hamas movement and...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
14 killed in Libya's Benghazi city
Tripoli, Sep 21 (IANS) A series of targeted attacks have claimed the lives of 14 people in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi, security sources said Saturday. A total of 14 people, including a journalist, security...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Polly Bergen dead aged 84
Polly Bergen has died aged 84. The legendary actress - who was best known for her role in 'Cape Fear' - passed away today (20.09.14) surrounded by her friends and family at her home in Southbury, Connecticut, from...
Read more on Movie Balla
 
Polly Bergen dead aged 84
Polly Bergen has died aged 84. The legendary actress - who was best known for her role in 'Cape Fear' - passed away today (09.20.14) surrounded by her friends and family at her home in Southbury, Connecticut, from...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Kim Kardashian West's naked photos leak online?
Kim Kardashian West has become the latest celebrity to allegedly have naked photographs leaked online. The 33-year-old reality TV star may have fallen victim to the recent hacking scandal after explicit images, believed...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Pete Wentz is 'great' at diaper changing
Pete Wentz believes he's ''great'' at changing diapers. The Fall Out Boy rocker has picked up a new skill since he welcomed his son Saint Lazslo into the world with his girlfriend Meagan Camper on August 20. Speaking to...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Martin move in together?
Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Martin have ''pretty much moved in together.'' The couple - who have been dating since late June - have been ''inseparable'' over the past few months and have been spending a lot of time at...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Afghan presidential runners reach unity government deal
Kabul, Sep 21 (IANS) Afghan presidential candidates Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and Abdullah Abdullah Saturday agreed to sign a deal on creation of national unity government, ending a weeks-long political deadlock. "Dr....
Read more on Politics Balla